Microsoft announces teacher-inspired updates for Windows, Office and ’Minecraft’

Travis Smith, Teacher Engagement Manager, Microsoft Australia

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to empowering students to achieve more, we are proud to announce three pieces of news to help teachers drive better learning outcomes in the classroom.

Firstly, there are a huge range of education-specific features coming in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, features specifically inspired by teachers and focused on students – available in the months following July 2016 and before January 2017.

As shared devices have become common place in the classroom, managing this efficiently has become a priority. New findings from the Microsoft Asia EduTech survey has revealed that 46% of educators hoped to see more intelligent and automated services for administration and classroom teaching duties that enable students to be more productive.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is making this possible, by introducing new features including a ‘Set Up Schools PC’ app for easy device set-up by teachers, which until now, setting these devices up has been complex and getting students productive often takes too long.

Lowanna College is a great example of a school that has recently moved their 900 students to Windows devices. Now the benefits will be even greater.

Secondly, we are announcing some big improvements to Office 365 Education, introducing Microsoft Classroom – a single homepage where teachers and students can save time, stay organised, and teachers can manage classes in one central place.  Microsoft Classroom also includes a OneNote Class Notebook built into every class, where teachers can create assignments with due dates, complete with Outlook calendar events and reminders.

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that in June Microsoft will launch an early access program for Minecraft: Education Edition. If you are new to Minecraft, or if you aren’t sure where to start in bringing Minecraft into your classroom and incorporating into your curriculum, the early access program is going to be a great way to familiarise yourself with Minecraft: Education Edition. It will be available for any educator to download and try for free on Windows 10 and OS X El Captain.

At Microsoft, our culture revolves around the belief that empowerment through education is the key to a better future for our students. How can you get started? Upgrade your devices to Windows 10 or OS X El Captain, and sign up for an Office 365 Education account.

To learn more about the teacher inspired updates, read here.

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